Lessons from being a Caretaker

Recently, I have had the pleasure of taking care of someone very close to me. For many of us this can be a life changing event and everything can be affected. Your schedule can get a bit hectic and some things may be pushed aside or even removed. A lot can be learned from challenging situations (sometimes they are the best teachers). Here are some guidelines you can think about before encountering this situation that may help you along the way.

  1. Leave
  • Maintain a good leave balance. I always feel bad when I see an email asking for Leave donations for a fellow employee going through a situation that needs leave. Chances are those situations that last for extended periods of time are not plentiful but a lot of you burn your leave and never have any left for any sort of emergency. Of course taking into consideration if you are a new employee this will take time. Nonetheless aim to have a couple weeks in the bank even with taking a yearly vacation.
  • Choose wisely- if you are going to take leave actually use it for something or someone meaningful.

2. Work Happiness

  • You may not have the perfect job, however you may have the job that is perfect for your situation. Time and money are not equal, know which matters more and which your job offers over the other. A job that offers more time to spend with loved one(s) is worth more than one that pays a great deal but you are an absent party.
  • Your employer might have resources that can assist you, pull out your Employee Handbook or go to HR and ask. Sometimes it can be as simple as opening your mouth!
  • Ask your boss for time off and/or a new schedule to alleviate your work load. They may not be room to compromise but when approved make sure you hold your end of the bargain.

3. Money

  • Options, Options, Options- money might not make some people happy but it can surely make them comfortable. Healthcare costs especially for the elderly even with insurance. There are things you may have to pay for until certain benefits kick in so make it easier and save.

4. Stress

  • You are human, I repeat you are HUMAN! I know you are Mr/Miss “Make it Happen” but please, do not try to be Superman or Superwoman. ASK For help. There are some wonderful people around you that are willing to help and take some of the work. Trust them and trust yourself and know that you don’t have to be around 100% for things to go as planned. You cannot request of people what you do not ask of them.
  • Find ways of relieving stress as you will have your bad days. This goes for everyday life as well (as much as this whole blog does). Its not easy, go to a ball game, spend a night out, hang out with friends.

Embrace the fact that it’s you, you get the chance to to take care of someone that you love. You don’t have to, you want to! You get to! You have the honor of doing so because you were built for it.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Oliver (Ozzie) Crocco says:

    You’re a good man. We miss you at GW.

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